Barry Edelstein to Chat with JITNEY Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Performances begin this Saturday, January 18, as The Old Globe presents August Wilson's Jitney, 2017 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Play, directed by one of Wilson's foremost interpreters, Ruben Santiago-Hudson (directed Jitney on Broadway, performed in Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars).
Join us to learn more about the journey this show has taken at a special presentation- Barry Edelstein In Conversation with Ruben Santiago-Hudson, supported by the Fuson Family-this Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. This fascinating evening will cover Mr. Santiago-Hudson's career as an actor and director, August Wilson and specifically Jitney.
Tickets for this event are $7 for subscribers and donors and full-time students and $10 for general audiences, available now, and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
The American master and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson (the American Century Cycle of 10 plays) had a close relationship with The Old Globe, where three of his plays premiered. This production of Jitney is produced by Erik Falkenstein and Ron Simons in association with Manhattan Theatre Club. Jitney runs through February 23, 2020 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Previews run January 18-22. Opening night is Thursday, January 23 at 8:00 p.m. Single tickets start at $30.00 and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office.
A jitney is an unlicensed taxicab. Five tireless drivers in Pittsburgh's Hill District fight for love, survival, and respect as the powers-that-be threaten to close down their garage in the name of neighborhood improvement. The Los Angeles Times recently proclaimed it a Critic's Choice, saying, "This is an extraordinary company! A triumphant melding of acting and drama. Don't make the mistake of skipping this one. It's among the finest productions of a Wilson play I've seen." The Washington Post calls Jitney "a consistently funny and absorbing evening," while The Hollywood Reporter asks, "Is there a more accomplished living interpreter of the plays of August Wilson than Ruben Santiago-Hudson? The timing feels ideal to visit Wilson's inimitably pulsating world with a peerless company of actors.""August Wilson was one of the giants of the American stage," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, "and he had a special relationship to The Old Globe, where three of his plays premiered. Jitney is a prime example of what makes his gift as a playwright so unique. A simple story of working Americans and their struggles and triumphs, it's set against a huge canvas of national themes. Funny and touching and thought-provoking, Jitney is everything we want theatre to be. Ruben Santiago-Hudson, unquestionably the greatest interpreter of Wilson now at work, gives us a production that's exhilarating and that demonstrates in every moment why it won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. It's a real honor to have this work at the Globe, and I know our audience will embrace its excellence and theatrical power." The cast includes Broadway and Wilson veteran actors Francois Battiste as Booster (Bronx Bombers, Magic/Bird), Harvy Blanks as Shealy (Jitney, Roundabout's Toni Stone, King Hedley II and Familiar regionally), Amari Cheatom as Youngblood (the Globe's Skeleton Crew, On the Levee and The Book of Grace Off Broadway), Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm as Fielding (Radio Golf, Two Trains Running, and Gem of the Ocean, Hulu's "Wu-Tang: An American Saga"), Brian D. Coats as Philmore (Jitney, The Brothers Paranormal Off Broadway, Marvel's "Luke Cage"), Steven Anthony Jones as Becker (original cast of Negro Ensemble Company's award-winning A Soldier's Play), Nija Okoro as Rena (Blueprints to Freedom at La Jolla Playhouse, The Legend of Georgia McBride at Geffen Playhouse, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Mark Taper Forum), Keith Randolph Smith as Doub (Water by the Spoonful at the Globe, Jitney, American Psycho, King Hedley II, Fences, Spike Lee's Malcolm X, Girl 6), and Ray Anthony Thomas as Turnbo (Jitney, The Crucible, and Race, Pulitzer Prize winners Water by the Spoonful and Between Riverside and Crazy). The multiple-award-winning creative team includes David Gallo (Scenic Design), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Jane Cox (Lighting Design), Darron L West and Charles Coes (Sound Design), Bill Sims Jr. (Original Music), Matthew Armentrout (Hair and Makeup Design), and Thomas Schall (Fight Direction), Caparelliotis Casting and Nancy Piccione (Broadway Casting), Laura Stanczyk (Additional Casting), Manhattan Theatre Club (Original Broadway Production), Maximum Entertainment Productions (General Manager), and SenovvA Inc. (Production Supervisor).
Just as Wilson's original masterpieces enjoyed rolling premieres at The Old Globe and other regional theatres across the country, this production is sharing the glory in cities nationwide as well. The New York Times said of the 2017 revival, "How sweet the sound. And how sorrowful and jubilant, as life in a storefront taxi company in an African American neighborhood in Pittsburgh comes to feel like a free-form urban concerto, shaped by the quick-witted, improvisatory spirit that makes jazz soar... glorious production." Entertainment Weekly raved "Grade: A! A gem of a play, both timely and timeless," and added, "It's like eavesdropping on an often funny, occasionally hostile, always honest discussion about race, urban development (or lack thereof), and relationships-between fathers and sons, men and women, coworkers and friends."
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Director) is honored to continue this journey with August Wilson's Jitney whose recent Broadway production garnered several awards for Outstanding Revival including the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League, and the NY Drama Critics Circle Awards, along with six Tony nominations. Ruben's directing credits include: The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of The Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children! My Africa!, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Cabin in the Sky, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, The First Breeze of Summer and Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine, among many others. Mr. Santiago-Hudson received a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson's Seven Guitars. He made his Broadway acting debut alongside Gregory Hines in Jelly's Last Jam. Other Broadway credits include Stick Fly and Gem of The Ocean. The multi-award-winning director/writer/actor wrote, executive produced, and co-starred in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues based on his OBIE and Helen Hayes Award-winning play. The movie received several honors including Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, Humanitas, National Board of Reviews, Black Filmmaker's Foundation and Christopher Awards. In a career that spans over four decades, Ruben considers opening The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown of Lackawanna, NY as one of his proudest and most cherished accomplishments.